BLT Chicken Salad with Cornbread Croutons
Rob and I are “leftover people.” In fact, we often plan for leftovers, which I have been told are called “planned overs.” Hehe! We are often really busy during weeknights, and even though we enjoy cooking, it is sometimes nice to have a quick meal ready to go. Additionally, we don’t like wasting food. Did you know that the USDA estimates food waste in the United States is as high as 30-40% (or approximately 133 billion pounds of food per year)?! I personally find these statistics rather disturbing, so I try to make an effort to minimize my personal impact. If you’re interested in learning more, you can read about it here.
On the topic of food waste, do remember the cornbread recipe I posted earlier this week? If not, you can find it here. Cornbread unfortunately has a tendency of becoming stale and undesirable rather quickly. However, I’m excited to share an easy solution to use up your leftover cornbread...
...Make cornbread croutons!
These cornbread croutons get nice and crusty on the outside but still maintain the crumbliness in the interior. They make a wonderful addition to salads or soup! My favorite recipe involving these croutons is a BLT chicken salad. Here is the breakdown of ingredients: obviously bacon, lettuce, tomatoes, and chicken, with the addition of honey goat cheese, cornbread croutons, and your favorite dressing. The smoky bacon counters the sweetness from the honey goat cheese perfectly.
This salad can be served easily as an appetizer or entrée salad, depending on the portions. It is perfect salad for spring and summer that will quickly become a family favorite.
This recipe was inspired by the BLT Chopped Salad at Buttermilk in Geneva. This place is truly spectacular both in terms of menu and ambiance!
Leftover cornbread, cut into ¾ in cubes
2-4 Tbsp melted butter
Preheat oven to 350° F. Place cornbread cubes into a large bowl and drizzle with melted butter. Use more or less butter depending on preference and amount of cornbread. Place on a baking sheet, and bake for about 8-10 minutes. Turn the croutons and bake for an additional 8-10 minutes, or until crisp and golden brown. Cool completely and use within 1 day for best texture.
BLT Chicken Salad
Romaine or butter lettuce
Cherry tomatoes, halved
Bacon, cooked and crumbled
Chicken breast, cooked and sliced
Honey goat cheese, crumbled
Salad dressing of choice*
Place desired amount lettuce as a base and add the remaining ingredients to your liking. Just before serving, top with the salad dressing.
*In terms of dressing, I highly recommend a vinaigrette, especially one with citrus or honey notes.